Sharing Pet Custody

Agreeing to share pet custody can make things easier on both parties

When it comes to custody battles, the first thing most people think is kids, but far less consider the other loved ones in the family. That’s right, we’re talking about the pets!

If you’re both animal lovers, chances are you’re quite attached to your pets, and neither person would feel good giving them up completely. To help with that, take a look at this list of suggestions, from a HuffPost Divorce article by Karen Stewart:

For Families with Kids:

Consider that your pet goes back and forth with the children

Perhaps share the costs of the pet the same way that extraordinary costs are shared

Agree in advance about yearly vet bills and check ups. Perhaps discuss what the maximum limit would be to budget in the case of a health emergency

Consider sharing pet insurance to avoid these emergency costs if possible

For Couples without Kids and only Pets:

Again, the dog can go back and forth on a rotation (ie one week, month etc.) With young kids there is always a concern about times between seeing both

Parents, but with animals, the longer stay is not likely to harm the pet and may be better for their training consistency. It may perhaps cause grief for their owners but nothing that is long lasting.
Sharing of the costs associated with the pet(s) is likely the fairest thing to do especially if sharing access.

Perhaps the pet stays with one party, especially if only one home permits pets, and the other party can visit or take him/her for walks etc.

Now, with any divorce comes the possibility (OK, probability) of disagreements, so make sure to keep your attorney in the loop when it comes to your pets as well. If you are able to come to an agreement, you’ll want to have legally-admissable proof, and if you can’t resolve things yourselves then you’ll want them to be fully briefed on the situation when it’s time to head to court.